"A bad photo is a bad photo - it's rare that a bad color photo makes an excellent B&W one."
Have to agree with Paul on this. Sometimes a bad color photo that has good composition can actually work very well as a BW (monochrome) photo. Sometimes it is the color itself that makes the image poor, because, as had been said earlier, often color is a distraction. Try it. All digital photos are taken as color images, including those that come out of the camera rendered BW. Put the image into an image editor and desaturate it. You'll get a BW image. Sometimes what you get will be much more powerful than the original color image, though sometimes it will be the opposite, much worse.
BW is a great way to start to learn to "see" photographically, because it forces you to look at contrast and composition and the way light works. You begin to notice patterns and texture and "negative space". When taking photos of people you'll concentrate more on their expressions, behavior, and positions. It's a great way to get introduced to photography.